Mentoring Youth: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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The temperatures have dropped, the holidays are in full effect, and winter has officially commenced. This can only mean one thing. We are in one of the best times of the year: the Giving Season. This time of the year has a special feel as it brings organizations, communities, and neighbors together to help those in need.

The Giving Season can take shape in many forms, whether it is supporting your neighborhood’s economy by shopping local, volunteering at a food bank, or philanthropic efforts around town. If you are still looking for a gift or way to give that has a lasting impact, I suggest you look no further than becoming a mentor to one of the thousands of youth who live in the city of Boston.

According to a 2014 national report titled The Mentor Effect:

  • Youth who have mentors are 52 percent less likely to skip school, making them more likely to graduate.
  • 64 percent of students with mentors develop a more positive attitude toward school, leading to better learning.
  • Youth with mentors are 63 percent more likely to reduce high-risk behaviors like violent tendencies and drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.

This past year, the incredible youth of Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) in Jamaica Plain took on the TD Garden. For their phenomenal efforts, they were included as an honorable mention for the Boston Globe’s 2017 Bostonians of the Year superlative. When HSTF is not producing young detectives and advocates, the dedicated staff and volunteers there are ensuring local teens are being set up to succeed. As a mentor there since 2014, I can vouch for how important and influential it is for the youth to have someone play the mentor role in their lives. The connections I have developed with my mentee and the other teens, is an honor and something I will always deeply value.

HSTF is just one of a myriad of organizations that need devoted and insightful individuals to help inspire and guide the youth around us. I encourage you to look for an organization either in the City of Boston or a region near you and get involved. Giving in this form will be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Not only will you being giving, but in return, you will be receiving the precious gift of knowing you brought about positive change in someone else's life. Who would not love a gift like that, especially during this time of the year?

Click here for more information about Hyde Square Task Force's Mentoring Enrichment Program.